Tag:Northwestern
Posted on: April 21, 2011 11:48 am
 

Duke LB arrested on cocaine trafficking charges

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Duke being Duke, the image of their football players tends to be that of a collective of academics-first goody-goodies that might be a little too smart to play championship football, much like Vanderbilt or Northwestern in the SEC or Big Ten.

No, it's not fair, but Blue Devil reserve linebacker Tyree Glover may have been trying a little too hard to disprove that stereotype. Glover was dismissed from the Duke program yesterday after having been arrested Tuesday on charges of trafficking cocaine and marijuana possesion. Per the local Herald-Sun:
The 6-foot-1, 255-pound sophomore linebacker from Crescent City, Fla., was being held in the Durham County jail Thursday in lieu of $750,000 bond ...

[Police spokesperson Kammie] Michael said police then obtained a search warrant and searched his dorm room on the Duke campus where they found marijuana.

Michael said police confiscated 29.6 grams of powder cocaine and 72.4 grams of marijuana.

Glover wasn't a major part of the Blue Devil defense, with 20 total career tackles, but he had appeared in 23 of 24 games since his 2009 arrival on campus.

Something tells me that at Duke, those 23 appearances aren't quite going to be what Glover's abbreviated Blue Devil tenure will be remembered for.

Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:01 pm
 

Northwestern wants to keep playing at Wrigley

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The game played between Northwestern and Illinois at Wrigley Field last November was panned critically, and for good reason. Due to a lack of space behind the east zone, the game was played with the offense continually moving towards the west end zone where there was more space between the back of the end zone and a brick wall. Which made the game an easy target of jokes, but the fact is, the game was quite successful for Northwestern both in the financial sense and in a marketing sense.

So much so that according to a report in the Chicago Tribune this weekend, Northwestern would like to make its date at Wrigley Field an annual affair.

The Nov. 20 game was such a financial and marketing success that Cubs and Northwestern officials have talked about putting an annual Wrigley Field game on the calendar, sources told the Tribune.

But that won't happen until the Cubs renovate their ballpark. Once it secures funding, the team hopes to create space for a regulation 100-yard field by manipulating walls in at least one dugout area.

I was at the game in November, and while only one end zone being in play took a few minutes to get used to, it did not really hinder the game. The fact was that the atmosphere of the game at Wrigley easily surpassed any atmosphere you'll come across at Northwestern's Dyche Stadium in Evanston. The biggest difference being that the stands were packed, which just doesn't happen at Northwestern home games in Evanston. I said following the game that I'd like to see more football played at Wrigley Field, and that opinion still stands today.

If a way to include both end zones can be found, even better.

 

Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:48 pm
 

Northwestern and Notre Dame renew rivalry

Posted by Tom Fornelli

That video is from 1995, and it shows what happened the last time Northwestern and Notre Dame met on a football field. During that game, Northwestern shocked the world by upsetting ninth-ranked Notre Dame in the season opener by a score of 17-15. It was the first game of what turned out to be a dream season for Northwestern, as the Wildcats finished the year 10-1 and went to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1949.

At that time, Pat Fitzgerald was Northwestern's middle linebacker. Now that he's the team's head coach, Fitzgerald will get his chance to not only beat Notre Dame as a player, but as a coach as well. It was announced on Thursday morning that the Irish and Wildcats would be rekindling the series. Northwestern will return to South Bend in 2014, while Notre Dame will make the trip to Evanston in 2018.

“We’re excited about having Notre Dame make its first visit to Evanston since 1976,” said Northwestern AD Jim Phillips in a press release. “This is really an exciting time for Chicago’s Big Ten team as we continue to upgrade our nonconference schedule. With schools such as Boston College, California, Syracuse and Vanderbilt visiting Ryan Field in future years, combined with Nebraska to our division in the Big Ten, there’s no better time to be a Wildcat.”

Phillips also worked in Notre Dame's athletic department from 2000 to 2004. While the schools haven't played since that 1995 shocker, they have played a total of 47 games against one another.

Posted on: April 8, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), 4/8

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.

FOUR LINKS ...

1. It's not easy for a school like Mississippi State to keep up with the Joneses of the SEC when it comes to the facilities arms race ... but $12 million worth of private donation sure helps. The artist's rendition of the future "Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex" (which will house practice fields a weight room, coaches' offices, etc.) looks like so:



2. It sounds like new Colorado coach Jon Embree isn't wasting any time reshaping the Buffaloes roster. Though a round of cuts (unfortunately) isn't exactly unprecedented for a new coaching administration, it will be interesting to see if there's any pushback from the Boulder media or academic types over his cancellation of scholarships for "effort"-related reasons that seem to straddle the "violation of team rules" line.

One player who won't mind Embree's arrival regardless: Buff kicker Justin Castor, who watched Dan Hawkins burn his redshirt last season to attempt just one field goal.

3. Unlike most sports teams, when choosing a design for their Rose Bowl championship rings, TCU went reserved, classy, tasteful :



Or, perhaps, the opposite of that. (Not that they don't deserve rings that would fit around this blogger's wrist, of course.)

4. After the success of last year's Illinois-Northwestern game at Wrigley Field (and that in the face of the "offense only faces one way" debacle), it's no surprise that the Boston Red Sox would consider hosting a college football game of their own at Fenway Park. Though such a game is still just a twinkle in the Sox executive's eye at this stage, it's no surprise that Boston College fans would like to volunteer their team's services.

AND THE CLOUD ...

Cal receiver Tevin Carter has left the Bears program citing a lack of interest in football; Carter did not catch a pass last season ... "Top-level donors" at Arizona State are getting a sneak peek at the team's new uniforms ... Minnesota signee Peter Westerhaus suffered a skull fracture and received 50 stitches after being hit in the face by a boulder on a family hiking trip in the Grand Canyon. He'll be fine for fall practice, though ... Staying with the Gophers, a bill to allow alcohol sales in TCF Bank Stadium's "premium seating" has made it through committee ... The intensity of the Iron Bowl rivalry extends itself to a gymnastics meet, not that you should be surprised by that ... And speaking of Auburn, reserve linebacker Jessel Curry and reserve safety Ryan Smith are not currently with the Tigers during spring practice, though the door to their return doesn't sound closed yet ... And speaking of Alabama, here's 50 photos (!) illustrating the process (pun intended ) of bringing the Tide's new Nick Saban statue to, uh, life ...  A useful look at the SEC's overall athletic program program margins, of which football is obviously the largest part ... Things got feisty at Texas A&M's practice this week ... The most in-depth 2011 preview of UL-Monroe you're going to find, courtesy of new stats-loving blog Football Study Hall .


Posted on: March 31, 2011 12:14 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Big Ten divisions confuse even Tom Osborne

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This Chicago Tribune Q&A with Tom Osborne is chockful of interesting nuggets from the Nebraska athletic director, such as ...
  • his ambivalence about the statue of himself outside the athletics building, and his wish for a button that would make the statue disappear into the sidewalk
  • that the huge William Jennings Bryan quote outside the building has "never resonated" with him
  • that during expansion discussions, Jim Delany was so secretive even Osborne didn't know where the meetings would be taking place until his driver dropped him off
  • speaking about his disappointment in Dan Beebe's decision not to visit Lincoln because of death threats, Osborne said most of his death threats "just got thrown in the waste basket"
But this brief exchange might be most interesting of all:
Q: Is Nebraska a Legend or a Leader?

A: I think we're in the Legends.

Q: You are.

A: But I had to think a little bit.
That's right: even the athletic director of the school whose addition created the Big Ten's new six-team divisions can't keep them straight enough to know for certain which one his team is in.

But it's all water under the bridge for now, since the Big Ten is showing no inclination to change the names anytime in the forseeable future. So as a public service both to Mr. Osborne and the general Eye on College Football reading public, here's an easy guide to remembering which team is a "Legend" and which is a "Leader":
1. The letter "N" only appears in the name "Legends." So that's where the two "N" schools, Nebraska and Northwestern, were placed.

2. Remember that Nebraska shares a division with the only other Big Ten school on the Great Plains, Iowa, who the Huskers now face in an annual rivalry game we're referring to as the Corn Bowl until such time as it receives an actual name

3. Michigan's fight song famously refers to the Wolverines as the "Leaders and the best." Because irony rules the world with an iron(ic) fist, this is why Michigan was also placed in the Legends division.

4. Joining Michigan are the other two "M" schools, Michigan State and Minnesota. (These also happen to be Michigan's two most traditional rivals aside from Ohio State.)

5.
So that's your six Legends: Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota. All other schools -- any that doesn't start with "N" or "M" and isn't Iowa -- go in the Leaders file.
So there you go. Now if someone could just help us remember which ACC teams are in the Atlantic and which are in the Coastal, we'll be all set.

Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:19 pm
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Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Big Ten spending shows Wolverines lagging

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Forbes
magazine writer Kristi Dosh has continued a series on college football spending that started with the SEC with a closer look at the Big Ten's revenues and profits , and though some of her findings and conclusions aren't surprising -- Ohio State spends more on football than any other member of the league, the average SEC team generates more revenue and spends more money than the average Big Ten team, etc. -- some of them are legitimately eyebrow-raising.

Perhaps the most intriguing number is the difference between the revenue generated by the Michigan  football program and how much the university re-invests in those same Wolverines. These are the figures for how much gross revenue each Big Ten team creates:
Penn State Univ. $70,208,584.00
Ohio State Univ. $63,750,000.00
Univ. of Michigan $63,189,417.00
Univ. of Iowa $45,854,764.00
Michigan State Univ. $44,462,659.00
Univ. of Wisconsin $38,662,971.00
Univ. of Minnesota $32,322,688.00
Univ. of Illinois $25,301,783.00
Northwestern Univ. $22,704,959.00
Indiana Univ. $21,783,185.00
Purdue Univ. $18,118,898.00
And here's how much each team spends:
Ohio State Univ. $31,763,036.00
Univ. of Wisconsin $22,041,491.00
Penn State Univ. $19,780,939.00
Univ. of Iowa $18,468,732.00
Univ. of Michigan $18,328,233.00
Michigan State Univ. $17,468,458.00
Univ. of Minnesota $17,433,699.00
Northwestern Univ. $15,733,548.00
Indiana Univ. $12,822,779.00
Purdue Univ. $11,821,265.00
Univ. of Illinois $11,092,122.00
Note that when it comes to revenue, Michigan is a solid No. 3, only narrowly behind their rivals in Columbus and nearly $18 million ahead of fourth-place Iowa. But when it comes to expenses, Michigan drops back to No. 5, and a distant No. 5 at that; they spend less than 60 percent of what the league-leading Buckeyes do, and despite their massive revenue advantage barely outspend even their in-state enemies at Michigan State.

Contrast the Wolverines' approach with that of Wisconsin. The Badgers come in just sixth in the league in revenue, but (as Dosh points out) reinvest an incredible 57 percent of that money back into the football program, a number that exceeds even the percentages in the SEC and puts the Badgers' raw investment well ahead of not only Michigan but even revenue leaders Penn State. It's hard to argue the Badgers aren't getting a return on that investment, either, when they've posted nine or more wins six of the past seven years and are coming off of a surprise Rose Bowl appearance.

Michigan's troubles go deeper than just spending money, of course, and it has to be pointed out that there are institution-wide advantages to hogging so much of the football team's revenue as (the Big Ten's second-largest pile of) profit; the athletic department sponsors a wide variety of varsity sports programs (no, there's no scholarship field hockey at, say, Tennessee) and does so without financial support from the university.

But if the Wolverines are serious about competing for not only conference championships against the likes of the Buckeyes but Rose Bowl championships against the likes of Oregon or USC, or national titles against the likes of the Big 12 or SEC, they're going to have to start putting more of their football money to use in football (particularly in the area of coaching salaries ). Greg Mattison is a nice start, but he's only a start.

(One other note worth noting: thanks to the Big Ten Network, a revenue stream that according to Dosh's figures falls outside of the football-only numbers, the average Big Ten athletic department remains more profitable overall than the average SEC athletic department by some $2.5 million. The Big Ten has the money to spend. They just spend more of it, it appears, on things that aren't football.)
Posted on: January 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Headset Reset: Welcome to the Pac-12 and Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

"Headset Reset " is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

DAVID SHAW, Stanford

Why him? Shaw represents a reaffirmation of the Jim Harbaugh regime, which rose from doormat to Pac-10 power with Shaw as offensive coordinator. Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby didn't get Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during negotiations after Harbaugh's departure, but Bowlsby's bona fides in football coach hiring are pretty solid. By hiring Shaw (and interviewing two other in-house candidates), Stanford has told its fans, "it ain't broke, and we're not fixin'."  By 2014, Shaw will need to: perpetuate Stanford's recent successes. Harbaugh isn't the first coach to win at Stanford, and he's also not the first coach to bolt for greener pastures at the first opportunity. So being that Stanford's main opposition in the Pac-12 North is Oregon and four programs with a light history of success (and let's ignore Stanford's time in that role since 40 years ago), there's an opportunity for the Cardinal to assert some authority.  Chances Shaw gets what he needs? Pretty good. Stanford's athletic department has a surprising amount of money, and with Oregon and Nike trying to start an arms race with the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford is one of the few schools that can probably keep up -- as long as it still wants to, anyway.

JON EMBREE, Colorado

Why him? Well, let's just not ask Bill McCartney that question. Past that, Embree was hired because he's a former Buffalo, and it would take a Colorado man to take this job and not flee the first time the Buffaloes put together seven wins in a season. By 2014, Embree will need to: get his team competitive with USC -- or whoever else is atop the Pac-12 South. There's no indication that Colorado's better or even as good as the rest of the division it's entering. CU can thank Dan Hawkins in some respects for that, but really, Colorado football hasn't been relevant for almost 15 years (yes, CU went to two consecutive Big XII Championships ... and lost them by a hilarious combined score of 112-6). Continued sub-mediocrity won't fly, especially as the Buffaloes try to acclimate themselves to a new conference without the strong tradition of success the Big XII had. Chances Embree gets what he needs? Not great. Colorado has struggled with keeping its football program relevant ever since the shared title year of 1990, even with some apparently decent head coaching hires. The move from the Big XII North to the Pac-12 South won't help lighten the Buffaloes' burden any, either. Colorado's struggles could very well be an institutional problem, not a coaching problem, and if that's the case it's probably easy to see how the Jon Embree Era will end in Boulder.

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana

Why him? This might actually be the most surprising hire of 2010, mainly because we didn't know Indiana could do something like this. The Hoosiers tabbed the vaunted Oklahoma offensive coordinator for his first head coaching gig, and they briefly had Boise State WR coach Brent Pease as the offensive coordinator. Hello, points! Problem was, Boise State's OC position opened up, and Pease went back to Boise for that gig, as would most sane coaches. This is still Indiana we're talking about. By 2014, Wilson will need to: prove that his offensive genius wasn't just "hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray and watch what happens." It likely wasn't, of course; Texas ably demonstrated this year that there's no such thing as a team too talented to get run into the ground by mediocre coaching. But still, the question remains; what's Wilson going to do when week in and week out, his players are inferior to their opponents? Chances Wilson gets what he needs? The better question here is whether Indiana gets what it needs, which is a solid football program led by a solid coach. That seems unlikely. Either Wilson fails badly in Bloomington like pretty much everyone before him, or he actually puts together a winning season, and starts getting wooed by job offers. What's going to keep Wilson in town when that starts happening? He doesn't have any prior connection to Indiana (both the school and the state itself), and his salary is only ("only") $1.2 million. As soon as he wins six games in a season up there, he's getting phone calls.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan

Why him? Michigan went back to its roots by hiring a former assistant, effectively admitting that the Rich Rodriguez dalliance was a mistake (also conveying that message: firing Rich Rodriguez) and that there was a formula to be followed. Hoke has whipped two programs into shape in short order, and he'll need to do it again at Michigan, which is just a mess. By 2014, Hoke will need to: have Michigan reloading instead of rebuilding. Michigan's biggest challengers in its new division are Nebraska and maybe Iowa or Northwestern. Hoke has no excuses for not routinely making the conference championship (or if not, being just a game out). Beating Ohio State would also be strongly recommended. Chances Hoke gets what he needs? Pretty darn good. Michigan has the resources, tradition, and expectations to get at least 10 wins a year, and now it's got a coach that can make that happen too. The common theme about the Hoke hire was that it wasn't "sexy," which means he's literally not an attractive person and/or that his teams play defense. Neither fact is a valid reason not to like this hire. Hoke wasn't Michigan's first choice, but neither was Jim Tressel at OSU. That's not to say "hiring fifth choice = national championship" is a valid strategy, but it's just extremely unlikely that there's only one right choice at a school with the inherent advantages that Michigan or any other traditional college football power would have. Jim Harbaugh probably would have succeeded at Michigan. So might Hoke. So might a cardboard cutout of Bo Schembechler (which is what the older part of Michigan's fanbase really wants in its heart of hearts anyway).

JERRY KILL, Minnesota

Why him? Aside from the obvious--that his name is literally just "Kill"--Minnesota hired a guy with 200 games of head coaching experience and a 63.5% winning percentage, all before his 50th birthday. Kill has succeeded in the MAC, where success is fleeting at best, and at a Southern Illinois program that wasn't really in good shape when he arrived. The track record's there, in other words. By 2014, Kill will need to: keep the stadium full. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest house on the block in the Big Ten, but it's not exactly the biggest -- more like the opposite of that word. The luster of the new stadium was already wearing off by the time Tim Brewster was fired, as the team struggled to fill the stadium or do anything else of merit.  Chances Kill gets what he needs? Well, this depends solely on Kill's recruiting ability. He's been a head coach for almost 20 years, all of which came in the Midwest, so he knows the drill, and he knows the coaches. He just hasn't tried to land any big names before, and while bringing big names to Minnesota seems like a challenge, both Brewster and Glen Mason did it every now and then. So there's a chance he makes a turnaround happen.


 
 
 
 
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